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Liveblogging the War: Saturday July 29th – Sunday July 30th

Today, the IDF pulled out of the southern Lebanon town of Bint Jbail, but not before killing 26 Hizbulah terrorists in what has been described as “one of their most important missions in the framework of the operation in Lebanon.” During the day’s fighting, the IDF seized Hizbullah equipment, including 5 anti-tank missiles, 30 hand grenades, 41 clips and 10 bullet proof vests.

The IAF struck over 60 targets today, including dozens of Hizbullah weapons caches, vehicles that were transporting arms, and the very rocket launchers used by Hizbullah to fire a new kind of missile at the Afula area (the furthest south they have reached until now) on Friday. The IDF is still not certain on the exact extent of damage inflicted on Hizbullah’s rocket-firing capabilities, but estimate that their medium-range rocket arsenal has been definitely reduced.

Hizbullah fired over 90 Katushas at our northern communities today, with 5 people sustaining light shrapnel wounds. And this evening, Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah continued with his verbal barrage of threats, vowing to strike towns in central Israel, and referring to Israel as a “temporary country” (in case you don’t yet understand Hizbullah’s ultimate aim), as well as a “slave of the US.”

Elsewhere in the world, a Muslim gunman “angry at Israel” opened fire inside the building of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing a woman and wounding 5 others, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez met with Iranian President Mahmoud “Gorilla Boy” Ahmedinejad and pledged to support Iran, and pro-Lebanon anti-Israel protesters mobbed Australian prime minister John Howard in my hometown of Perth.

Updates (Israel time; most recent at top)

 

Monday updates here.


11:03PM: Ynetnews reports that the Lebanese army opened fire on Israeli helicopters earlier today.

10:31PM: The US is expected to block a United Nations Security Council resolution denouncing Israel for the Qana strike.

10:28PM: In response to the IDF’s theory that the building in Qana collapsed around 8AM, Lebanese villagers in Qana say that the building’s collapse occurred in the early hours of the night.

9:45PM: Kofi Annan is urging the UN Security Council to condemn our strike on Qana.

I’m assuming he is not urging the Security Council to condemn Hizbullah’s deliberate strikes on Israeli civilians, nor Hizbullah’s use of Lebanese civilians as human shields.

9:28PM: An IDF investigation has so far found that the building in Qana fell approximately eight hours after being hit by the IAF. Some possibilities being examined are:

  • Hizbullah explosives in the building were behind the explosion that caused the collapse

  • The rickety building remained standing for a few hours, but eventually collapsed.

    9:16PM: 4 IDF soldiers have been injured after Hizbullah terrorists fired a missile against an IDF tank. 2 of the soldiers have sustained moderate injuries, and 2 have sustained light wounds.

    9:08PM: Part 2 of the interview with Egyptian Sandmonkey and yours truly is now up at Shire Network News (Part 1 is available here, if you did not catch it yet).

    8:52PM: The IDF are expected to destroy all Hizbullah outposts within a kilometer and a half of the Israel-Lebanon border by Thursday.

    8:45PM: Israellycool reader John sends in a link to this picture from Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada, which was accompanied by the below caption.

    “Z.K. Thiessen of the Canadian Peace Alliance gestures to a heckler from the pro-Israel group at Portage and Main yesterday. The two sides gathered at the intersection yesterday afternoon, arguing with one another about the conflict in the Mideast and jostling for the best position on the corner, but the protests ended peacefully. Police stood by to keep the peace.”

    Those Peace alliance people are so full of love, aren’t they?

    8:30PM: 69 Israelis have been injured from today’s rocket attacks.

    Deliberately injured (Actually, Hizbullah has been aiming to kill).

    Random thought: If they were all to succumb to their injuries, I doubt the international community would be in as much uproar as they have been over Israel’s justified strike on Qana today.

    8:25PM: The Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs has posted footage showing Hizbullah firing rockets from behind buildings in Qana, as well as this explanation:

    This morning, July 30, 2006, the IAF attacked missile launch sites in the area of the village of Qana, an area from which hundreds of missiles were launched towards the city of Nahariya and the communities in the western Galilee.

    The IDF will defend the citizens of Israel from attacks by the Hizbullah and the responsibility for any civilian casualties rests with the Hizbullah who have turned the suburbs of Lebanon into a war front by firing missiles from within civilian areas.

    Residents in this region and specifically the residents of Qana were warned several days in advance to leave the village. Eighteen Israeli civilians have been killed and over 400 have been wounded by these rocket attacks which have disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of Israeli citizens.

    The IDF regrets any harm to uninvolved civilians, but this is the result of Hizbullah terrorist organization’s contemptible use of Lebanese civilians as human shields.

    They have also posted an example of one of the leaflets dropped to the residents of Qana 5 days ago, asking them to leave the area.


    “To all citizens south of the Litani River

    Due to the terror activities being carried out against the State of Israel from within your villages and homes, the IDF is forced to respond immediately against these activities, even within your villages. For your safety! We call upon you to evacuate your villages and move north of the Litani River.”

    6:50PM: Ha’aretz reports:

    A special unit of undercover IDF troops arrested four Palestinians in Qalqilyah overnight for the murder of Israeli doctor Daniel Yaakovi last week.

    One of the four detainees is a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the military wing of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah movement, and the other three are his assistants.

    6:45PM: Israellycool correspondent Darren has sent this link to “Possum News Network,” which shows photos from an anti-Israel march in Sydney.

     

    The level of hatred on display is disturbing. For instance, here is one of the photos and captions that stood out.

     

    Harsh but true. Right from the beginning, Zionist fanatics were comfortable with European anti-semitism and even collaborated with Nazis and other anti-semites to drive reluctant jewish populations towards “The Promised Land”.

    If these people aren’t anti-Semitic, then neither is Mel Gibson.

     

    6:30PM: More proof of where the Lebanese government stands on the issue of disarming Hizbullah, in accordance with UN resolution 1559:

    Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora thanked Hizbollah on Sunday for its “sacrifices” In its war against Israel.

    In other words, he is thanking the organization that has deliberately killed Israeli civilians, and is deliberately endangering Lebanese civilians (I wonder if the “sacrifices” to which he is refering are the innocent Lebanese being used as human shields).

     

    This is the man that the US is promoting as the great, democratic hope of Lebanon (Then again, they are also supporting Mahmoud Abbas…).

     

    6:25PM: Yes, as I suspected – it’s a new record (one I wish was not broken).

     

    6:20PM: Today’s tally of Katusha rockets fired at Israel is now at 140, which is one of the largest, if not the largest, number for a single day so far.

     

    I suspect that Nasrallah’s strategy will now be to fire as many rockets as possible, knowing full well that international pressure will be brought to bear upon Israel after the Qana strike today. He knows Israel is running out of time to act against Hizbullah, and will take heart from the international reactions to today’s incident (which generally put the blame solely on Israel).

     

    5:50PM: Israellycool Reader Cy writes:

    Has anyone noticed how Hizbollah & Lebanon so conveniently claim the death of Israeli children as being necessary “martyrdom” for the Muslim cause (a reference to the 2 Israeli Arab children killed by a Katusha in Nazareth last week – ed) but when their own children are killed by the bombings it’s a different story, they express outrage. 

    5:47PM: According to a senior IDF officer, Hizbullah placed dozens of rocket launchers between houses in Qana, and housed themselves in the homes of civilians.

     

    5:40PM: The Herald Sun have published some photos that – in their words – “damn Hizbullah.” (hat tip: Seawitch)

    The images, obtained exclusively by the Sunday Herald Sun, show Hezbollah using high-density residential areas as launch pads for rockets and heavy-calibre weapons.

     

    Dressed in civilian clothing so they can quickly disappear, the militants carrying automatic assault rifles and ride in on trucks mounted with cannon.

     

    The photographs, from the Christian area of Wadi Chahrour in the east of Beirut, were taken by a visiting journalist and smuggled out by a friend.

    —-

    The images include one of a group of men and youths preparing to fire an anti-aircraft gun metres from an apartment block with sheets hanging out on a balcony to dry.

     

    Others show a militant with AK47 rifle guarding no-go zones after Israeli blitzes.

     

    Another depicts the remnants of a Hezbollah Katyusha rocket in the middle of a residential block blown up in an Israeli air attack.

     

    The Melbourne man who smuggled the shots out of Beirut and did not wish to be named said he was less than 400m from the block when it was obliterated.

     

    “Hezbollah came in to launch their rockets, then within minutes the area was blasted by Israeli jets,” he said.

     

    “Until the Hezbollah fighters arrived, it had not been touched by the Israelis. Then it was totally devastated.

     

    “It was carnage. Two innocent people died in that incident, but it was so lucky it was not more.”

     

    The release of the images comes as Hezbollah faces criticism for allegedly using innocent civilians as “human shields”.

     

    Mr Egeland blasted Hezbollah as “cowards” for operating among civilians.

     

    “When I was in Lebanon, in the Hezbollah heartland, I said Hezbollah must stop this cowardly blending in among women and children,” he said.

    Here are a few of the photos in question:

     

     

     

    5:33PM: 112 rockets fired at Israel so far today. That is already more than yesterday’s tally.

     

    1:00PM: An IAF strike on the village of Qana has killed 60 people. I am very saddened by this loss of life (clarification: the loss of innocent life. I am not saddened by the deaths of the terrorists within this number).

     

    I want to point out the following:

    1. Hizbullah used Qana as a center for launching rockets at Kiryat Shmona and Afula.

    2. The residents were warned to leave.

     

    While I am sure everyone will be quick to condemn Israel, Hizbullah is fully responsible for this tragic loss of life. They launch rockets from civilian areas because they know Israel’s response will draw criticism as civilians are invariably killed. And they increase the chances of civilian casualties by preventing civilians from leaving these areas.

     

    Please understand this: Our government has an obligation to protect us from the barrages of rockets aimed at maximizing civilian casualties here in Israel. As a result, our army has to act against the rocket launchers used to fire these rockets from Lebanese civilian areas. I ask anyone who condemns the IDF actions to please provide another alternative course of action which will guarantee our safety.

     

    9:15AM: Hizbullah have already fired dozens of Katushas at our northern communities this morning, including Tiberias, Nahariya, Haifa and Kiryat Shmona.

     

    Sunday 9:08AM: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has put forth the proposal that an “international stabilization force” comprising of 10,000 to 30,000 troops be deployed in Lebanon, in return for Israel’s withdrawal from the Shaba Farms. According to several reports, the French and Lebanese armies will take part in this force. Arutz Sheva reports that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert agreed to the idea of such a force, but the timing, as well as the size of the force, are still open to discussion.

     

    While I do not oppose the deployment of an international force in theory, assuming the right conditions for such deployment (such as Hizbullah being disarmed), I would prefer that Israel be allowed to deal Hizbullah a huge blow. Anything short of that will be interpreted by Hizbullah and its backers (Iran and Syria) as a victory against Israel, and will only lead to more conflict in the future. In addition, I do not agree with any proposal that calls for Israel to leave the Shaba Farms. Israel fully complied with UN resolution 1559, which did not require any such withdrawal. Hizbullah have been using this issue as a pretext for their constant attacks on Israel in the last 6 years. By agreeing to their demands, the world would once again be sending the message that terrorism works.

     

    Meanwhile, France has drawn up a draft UN Security Council ceasefire resolution. How deliciously appropriate.

     

    11:27PM: Ynetnews reports that Hizbullah terrorists attempted to kidnap a soldier during Friday night’s operations in Bint Jbeil.

    11:23PM:
    The IDF has killed an Al-Quds Brigades commander (i.e. senior terrorist) in Nablus.

    But please don’t be shedding any tears. Amongst his work was a deadly terror attack on the pedestrian mall in Tel Aviv’s Neve Shaanan Street just three months ago, which left 4 Israelis dead.

    10:25PM:
    US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice is in town, and is currently meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

    Saturday 10:20PM: Aaron has posted footage of John Howard being mobbed in Perth.

  • About the author

    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
    Picture of David Lange

    David Lange

    A law school graduate, David Lange transitioned from work in the oil and hi-tech industries into fulltime Israel advocacy. He is a respected commentator and Middle East analyst who has often been cited by the mainstream media
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